ON THE ISSUES
Transparency & Accountability
The biggest challenge facing any voter is to make an informed decision with the lack of public, detailed information on so much of what our government is doing. American tax dollars are often spent in secret on activities that are indefensible in public. What's worse is that if and when these misdeeds are finally exposed, the public officials who perpetrated, authorized, and funded these misdeeds are rarely, if ever, held accountable in any meaningful way. Tax payers have an inherent right to know exactly how their money is being spent by government and voters need the full truth in order to hold decision makers accountable at the ballot box. In addition, full transparency will change the decision-making process in Washington by preventing legislators from hiding decisions from their constituents.
I will propose legislation to release all government documents older than five years, unredacted, to the public, along with setting up rules to allow more current documents to be released with limited, justifiable protections. I will also vote and speak out against any bill which increases the federal government's ability to keep its operations a secret from the American people. I will also submit (and support from others) legislation that eliminates existing special protections from personal accountability for people in government, including qualified immunity.
War & Foreign Interventions
Across all demographic divisions, almost two thirds of America's military veterans agree that the wars they've been asked to fight for the last two decades are a waste, but the Republican and Democrat establishments refuse to listen. The release of the Afghanistan Papers in 2019 has also laid bare what a disaster the war in Afghanistan is. Long presented as the "good" and justified war in contrast to the Iraq war, we now know that the American public has been lied to for nearly two decades in order to maintain support for a war that has left tens of thousands of soldiers wounded or killed and cost the nation trillions of dollars. So now it's time to listen to our veterans and act on the information.
I will vote and speak out against any spending bill or budget that includes money allocated for military spending which does not require a immediate withdrawal of US troops from every war zone in which they are engaged, and I will propose amendments to include this requirement to any related bill that comes before the Congress. After almost twenty years, we cannot afford to wait any longer or compromise with those who intend to continue to draw out these wars.
National Debt & Spending
It is not surprising that the size of our national debt has already surpassed the size of our entire economy. The debt has more than quadrupled since the year 2000, and even when federal tax revenues reached record highs, spending increases continued to outpace it by hundreds of billions of dollars. This, like so many other problems, is a predictable consequence of having the same two parties in office, sharing the power to spend our tax dollars and with no regard for the long term consequences to the nation. Both parties have demonstrated their unwillingness to reign in spending, long before the outbreak of COVID-19, the economic disruption, and massive "stimulus" spending that followed. Even in extraordinary circumstances, we need legislators who are willing to be honest and responsible enough to make hard choices about spending priorities rather than simply digging a deeper hole for future generations. How long can we afford to wait before beginning the slow process of fixing this?
I will vote and speak out against any spending bill or budget that increases our national debt by running a deficit, and I will offer amendments to all such legislation to bring them into line with revenues in order begin paying down our debt. I refuse to pass this massive debt, plus interest, onto our children.
Economic Freedom & Prosperity
While many in politics today choose to ignore the lessons of history and those who've studied it, we've known since the Wealth of Nations was published over 200 years ago that economic freedom is the most important element needed to allow a nation's economy to prosper, and to make that prosperity available to all. From America's own economic booms to the examples of the Four Asian Tigers in the 20th century and on through today, this truth still holds strong. Economic freedom is what led to the greatest reductions in extreme poverty across human history. And while Republicans and Democrats embrace central economic planning, socialism, and more big government "solutions", it is more important now than ever to stand up against efforts to give government control of the economic choices of the American people.
I will vote and speak out against any bill that expands government power or uses existing government powers to control outcomes and manipulate the economy, and I will offer amendments to all such legislation to remove those provisions before they come up for vote.
The freedom to exercise religious beliefs is a core American principle that has long been under assault from the federal government. Part of why the enemies of religious freedom have been so successful is that advocates for religious freedom have employed the wrong strategy, which has been to concede that government has the legitimate authority to regulate our decisions in many aspects of daily life while expecting to receive a special exemption because our decisions are informed by our faith. Instead, we must assert the truth that the federal government does not have legitimate authority to regulate decisions such as what services a business offers or the specific medical benefits package offered to employees. The Constitution doesn't grant any such powers, and so they are denied under the 10th Amendment.
I will speak out and vote against any bill which includes provisions to expand the power of government to override the personal decisions of conscience of all people, religious and non-religious, and I will use every tool available to prevent such legislation from reaching the floor for a vote.
The Drug War
Just like alcohol prohibition during the 1920s, the war on drugs of the last half century has been an abject failure and a mistake that should be corrected immediately. This not because we question the potential harmfulness of drug use and drug addiction, but it is because we recognize the much greater harm caused by the drug war and its failure to meaningfully reduce drug abuse. Just as in the 1920s, prohibition today provides a huge revenue stream to organized crime, fueling heated turf wars in which innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire daily. The drugs themselves have become more potent and dangerous. Enforcement of these laws has skewed strongly against poorer Americans in predominantly minority communities, leaving generations of men struggling to find a place in society and in the economy while carrying a criminal record for purely non-violent actions. It has also contributed to the creation of an adversarial relationship between the police and many communities they are charged to serve, making their jobs infinitely more difficult. It's also important to note that under the US Constitution, the federal government doesn't have this power at all, which at least the alcohol prohibitionists understood well enough to amend the Constitution in their day.
I will speak out and vote against any bill which funds federal drug prohibition efforts or seeks to expand prohibition and I will propose legislation to bring federal law in line with the Constitution by repealing existing drug laws and returning full authority over this issue to the individual states.
Across a wide spectrum of issues, many of the problems we face as a nation stem from a widespread disregard for the limits placed on government within the US Constitution. These include the transfer of powers that the Constitution reserves for one branch of government, the usurpation of powers denied to the federal government under the 10th Amendment, and the widespread violations of the Bill of Rights, including modern legislation such as the PATRIOT Act, the NDAA, and proposed federal Red Flag laws. Even more recently, COVID-19 pandemic has led for many in government to leverage public fears to again expand their powers even further beyond their constitutional limits, which must be stopped.
While I would oppose any effort to amend the Constitution to legalize such legislation, as it stands, the oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution requires that I speak out and vote against all legislation that seeks to continue the expansion of government powers and that I submit legislation to repeal existing unconstitutional legislation.
The current system is broken and unenforceable, as demonstrated by the number of undocumented immigrants present in the US and the number of times that amnesty has been granted en masse, so the solution is not to double down on this broken system with policies like we've seen over the last decade, but to scrap it entirely. Our issues are a predictable consequence of having our politics dominated by two parties who place “national interests” ahead of individual human rights, and the result is a system in which the path of least resistance for migrants looking for honest work in the US is to circumvent the laws rather than to enter through official channels and be documented. This is a problem we can fix by simply eliminating the bloated, arbitrary quota-based bureaucracy that has never worked and replacing it with a system consistent with our Constitution and earlier traditions. This, and not the policies of other nations, should be our guide in remaking our immigration system.
I will speak out and vote against any bill which funds increased immigration enforcement, construction of a border wall, and immigrant detention camps. I will submit legislation to replace our current immigration system with one that is consistent with the US Constitution, the realities of the US economy, and a recognition of individual human rights.
The Second Amendment enshrines in the US Constitution the basic human right to self defense by guaranteeing that each individual's right to have the means to defend themselves will not be infringed by the government. This right to self defense is not only applicable to cases of muggings and home invasions, but it also applies to the dangers of tyrannical government which would violate the rights of its people. Many of us here in Florida especially have roots in nations where authoritarian dictatorships have been made possible by the disarmament of the people. And while we cannot say that every example of stringent gun restrictions has resulted in such repression, we do know that nothing of the sort could ever be sustained in a nation where the people are armed and able to resist. Terrorist Watchlists and Red Flag Laws are subversive efforts to leverage the public's fear to empower government to restrict gun ownership in violation of the Second Amendment, as well as the due process protections guaranteed in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
I will speak out and vote against any new federal gun restrictions, including bills that use federal tax dollars to bribe state governments into adopting new gun restrictions. I will offer up legislation to repeal the existing bills of this nature, including that which has established federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. I will offer budget amendments to remove funding for any federal agency engaged in restricting Second Amendment rights from any bill and I will vote against any bill that includes such funding.
Quick Hits on Others Issues
Free trade with all nations should be America's policy, regardless of what policies are adopted by our trading partners.
The Jones Act's protectionist provisions on the shipping industry have done immeasurable harm to the economies of all states and territories that are not part of the contiguous United States, and need to be repealed.
All wage control laws going back to the Davis Bacon Act do immense harm to poor (often minority) workers by denying them a basic tool to compete for entry level employment opportunities. Increasing the government mandated minimum wage will further exacerbate this problem by pricing more entry level workers out of the job market.